E-Newsletter No. 2 (December, 2018)
E-Newsletter No. 2 (December, 2018)
撰稿和編輯：鄭恩麒/Written and edited by En-Chi Cheng
佳節愉快 闔家歡樂 Happy holidays
The end of the year always brings us to look back all kinds of memories from the past twelve months with plenty of bitter sweet. December also brings friends and family together to celebrate holidays and move on to a new year. In this publication, I would like to share two small stories with you - Every Other Day and Heirloom. The entire VivaViola team and I wish everyone an even more splendor year of 2019. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
兩天一次 Every Other Day
今日對於大家來說，Joseph de Pasquale (1919-2015) 這個名字可能不是特別耳熟，de Pasquale先生是二十世紀最具代表性的中提琴家之一，他的演奏生涯除了擔任波士頓交響樂團和費城交響樂團中提琴首席長達50年之久以外，還曾與海飛茲(Jascha Heifetz)、里奇(Ruggiero Ricci)、史坦(Isaac Stern)、畢亞帝高斯基(Gregor Piatigorsky)等傳奇音樂家錄製無數的唱片。
三生有幸的我在柯蒂斯音樂院跟隨這位時代傳奇學習了四年，高齡96歲的老師三年前的夏天過世，我也成為了閉門弟子。師承普林羅斯(William Primrose)的de Pasquale教學嚴格，對技術的能力養成格外地重視，每位學生每次上課都是從音階、爬音和棘手的練習曲開始，沒有例外！
海飛茲 - 每天練習音階！
普林羅斯 - 每天練習音階！
畢亞帝高斯基 - 每天練習音階！
Joseph de Pasquale（自己）...... 每兩天練習一次音階！」
The career of Joseph de Pasquale (1919-2015) might not be particularly familiar to our generation. However, the legacy of Mr. de Pasquale's virtuosic viola playing has an important place in the 20th century. He spent over fifty seasons as the principal violist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. He also recorded numerous albums of historical significance with giants such as Jascha Heifetz, Ruggiero Ricci, Isaac Stern, and Gregor Piatigorsky, among others.
During my studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, I had the pleasure to work with Mr. de Pasquale for four years. I was one of his last students before he passed away three summers ago. He was a student of the legendary William Primrose at Curtis back in late 1930s. Mr. de Pasquale inherited the high expectations in technical studies from his teachers and passed on this great tradition to his students. His lessons would always begin with scales, arpeggios, and tough etudes from Kreutzer, Rode, Fiorillo, etc., with no exceptions!
One wonders how important scales were for de Pasquale. This intriguing quote I heard in one of my lessons might shed a clue for us:
"All great musicians practice scales!
Heifetz, scales everyday!
Primrose, scales everyday!
Piatigorsky, scales everyday!
Joseph de Pasquale...... scales every other day!"
We laughed together for a good five minutes, an old man and a teenager in the Zimbalist Room at Curtis. All jokes aside, I think this shows how much respect Mr. de Pasquale had for his colleagues. After all, how could these great musicians reach such a high level of artistry without discipline?
Heirlooms are priceless objects that are extremely meaningful for a family history. They are not necessarily physical objects, however. This is a lively one from Christoph Richter, former cellist of the Cherubini Quartet.
"It just seems like there is something very special about Dvorak Piano Quartet No. 2 (Op. 87, No. 2) for my family," said Richter with an intimate smile. After our final rehearsal of Faure Piano Quintet No. 2 (Op. 115) at Marlboro this past summer, he shared with us a series of unexplainable coincidences.
The story starts with the older generation. Richter told us that his parents, a violist and a pianist, met for the very first time in a chamber group during their student years at Cologne University of Music, and were assigned to play this piano quartet. (I would guess it went exceptionally well, well enough to turn into a marriage.) As for Richter himself, when he was invited to play at Prussia Cove in England - where became one of his favorite places in the world - for the first time, his debut happened to be playing the same piano quartet. Many years later, at Prussia Cove again, with his older son keeping him company this time. The young kid loved nature and spent most of his time enjoying the wonderfulness outdoor, but would just walk in and sit through the rehearsals of this Dvorak quartet. He stated that this is his favorite piece of music. Yet again, last year when Richter and his family visited Prussia Cove, his two-year-old son made an amazing act during one breakfast. After a glorious performance of the same piano quartet the night before, this baby was clearly attached to the music and started singing the opening fanfare "da-da-da-da" with both hands conducting enthusiastically in the air.
At this point of the storytelling, Richter was simply enjoying and amazed by how his best parts of family life are so dearly connected to Dvorak Piano Quartet No. 2. For its strong symbolism of destiny in his case, I would say it is the invaluable heirloom for this musical family!